Closing the Digital Divide: General Trends and Driving Factors Behind Internet Usage in Latin America
- 11 Downloads
Internet providing satellite systems are often regarded as an invention that could close the digital divide because they provide Internet access to remote areas. The following chapter analyzes the digital divide and its driving factors by conducting a quantitative empirical analysis of Internet usage in Latin America. For this, the empirical analysis will draw upon theoretical hypotheses formulated in the scholarly literature, which includes independent variables such as economic income, free markets, access to electricity, urbanization, literacy or corruption. To test these hypotheses, the empirical part will apply a regression tree algorithm that allows us to predict unknown values of Internet usage and to identify important variables contributing to Internet access. The study concludes that the digital divide is considerably closing, at least in quantitative terms. Moreover, the empirical evidence confirms the conventional wisdom on the digital divide, arguing that economic strength is a particular important factor that explains access to the Internet.